MARRAR player Issy Cunningham is confident her less experienced teammates won't take long to be brought up to speed as the Bombers prepare for their first year in the AFL Southern NSW Women's competition.
Cunningham, 20, was identified as a talent at a young age and was involved in GWS Giants' development programs until she was 16.
She has since focused mostly on netball, like many of her teammates, but Cunningham and fellow experienced player Caitlin Kelly will be two of the figureheads for the fledgling side.
The Bombers have a chance to ease their way into the league after being placed in the same conference as the three other new teams - Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes, Turvey Park and Coolamon - as well as last year's bottom two Narrandera and Collingullie-Glenfield Park.
"We don't have many girls who have played it before, but it's looking promising," Cunningham said.
"It's about giving the girls confidence, that's my priority. I'm all about encouraging them to give it their best and they'll pick it up once they play a few games.
"Footy for some of the girls is so foreign in terms of positioning and game sense. Playing is different to training, but once the girls get the hang of it they'll be right."
Cunningham is confident more talent capable of getting noticed by AFLW clubs will come from the area, thanks to the greater opportunities to play on offer.
"I do (think it will help), especially with how big it's got and it's getting more exposure," she said.
"It should bring more passion for girls who want to play. Having more opportunities to play it will bring a lot more talent out of this area.
"The way they've formatted the schedule, the new teams are mostly playing against each other. That's good because everyone can build their way up, and soon that gap will close."
Marrar men's coach Shane Lenon will also juggle the women's role, and said their involvement will bring another element to the club.
"We've had a couple of combined sessions with the men. The women have really enjoyed that and learned a lot," he said.
"Numbers won't be an issue, we've got 25 definites and half a dozen others who are prepared to play if we need a hand.
"The assistant coaches and some of the senior players have been giving feedback and helping out. We're all in the club together and it's one big team effort."
Lenon said he feels officials have pulled the right strings in thus far in getting the competition up and running in its initial years.
"I think the timing of the season is right. It's smart not to clash with the netball as a lot of the players are netballers," he said.
"The length of the season is about right, there's a lot more teams put in for this year's competition and there's a lot of growth. I know everyone involved here is really looking forward to it.
"It's hard to say who will be strong or not, but the conference format to me is a good way to go about it."
Lenon is confident his squad will hold their own in their maiden year.
"It's an unknown because the majority of our girls haven't played football. Our main focus is enjoyment and improving as we go along," he said.
"But we want to at least be competitive, it doesn't do anyone any favour if you get flogged."
Round one will be played this Friday night, with the Bombers to host the Goannas at Langtry Oval from 6.30pm.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.